Kaizen is another critical concept in Lean Manufacturing.
Kaizen is a Japanese term for the discipline of continuous
improvement. Kaizen differs from what most companies implemented
in the US as Continuous Improvement in the 90’s.
Kaizen is often linked with the word “event”,
to signify a short time period. Kaizen events are often just
a few days long, with a specific group of employees working
on a very specific challenge. Although the implementation
of Kaizen includes non-structured tools such as brainstorming,
there is generally a specific structure to carrying out a
Kaizen event. Once Lean Manufacturing is implemented throughout
the business, Kaizen events are utilized to improve the system
Kaizen is often utilized to dramatically improve results.
For example, Kaizen might be utilized to reduce scrap from
9% to 5%, or in setup reduction (SMED) to reduce setup time
from 30 minutes to 15.Effective implementation of Kaizen involves
all employees in solving real problems that once solved improve
One of the failures of some companies beginning implementation
is to have too many Kaizen events going on at the same time.
It is important to utilize Kaizen as a meaningful problem
solving tool, and trying to solve every business issue at
the same time diminishes the effectiveness of the concept.
Effective Kaizen often includes a “kickoff” from
the general or plant manager, explaining to all affected employees
of the upcoming events and issues. They also include a presentation
to management and some type of celebration once complete.
Kaizen is one of the best concepts to really involve employees
in the business and help them to feel part of the reason for
the success of the business and the lean manufacturing system.
BPR’s lean manufacturing certification online courses
can be completed at your convenience 24/7. Simply log in and
begin the course. You can stop any time and come back to where
you left off. Once the course is successfully completed, the
certification will be mailed to you.